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Report Claims Mexico Is Second Deadliest Country And Mexico Isn’t Having It

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A recent report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) claims that in 2016, Mexico was the second deadliest conflict-zone in the world, placing it behind war-torn Syria. The report was quickly picked up by President Trump, who retweeted the story to his 29 million followers. However, Mexican officials believe the IISS methodology was flawed, leading to misleading and “sensationalist” data, The Guardian reports.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mexico experienced 23,000 homicides in 2016, putting it behind Syria’s total of 50,000 fatalities.


According to IISS data, Mexico outranks both Iraq and Afghanistan in “ten most lethal conflict zones in 2016.”

IISS officials claim the “conflict deaths” are related to escalations in cartel violence, CNN reports.


The survey shows that homicides rose in 22 of Mexico’s 32 states, and that “small arms” play a heavy role in the violence. The report also attributed the number of homicides to more than cartel on cartel violence. Citizens, as well as journalists, politicians, and the authorities are often caught up in the conflict, which the IISS compared to civil war levels of violence.

The report’s statistics didn’t sit well with many people.


They were quick to point out that there are other countries with higher homicide rates.


Mexican authorities, also dispute the legitimacy of the IISS report’s claims that Mexico is a “conflict zone.”


As The Guardian reported, Mexico’s foreign and interior ministries released a statement, saying, “Mexico is far from being one of the most violent countries in the world.” The ministries pointed out that Mexico’s murder rate of 16.4 per 100,000 citizens was far lower than that of many Latin American countries, including Honduras, which has a murder rate of nearly 90.4 per 100,000 citizens. Also mentioned is that some U.S. cities top the list of most violent, including St. Louis and Detroit.

The Economist reported that several of Mexico’s cities have the highest death rates in the world, but these areas are typically affected by cartel violence, which is often influenced by bordering countries, including the U.S., whose dependence on the drug trade contributes to the cartel’s violence.

Despite the violence, much of Mexico remains unaffected. As The Guardian pointed out, tourism in the country is on the rise, up 9 percent in 2016, and in the last few years, many top drug cartel leaders have been killed or captured.

For more on this story, check out The Guardian.

[H/T] The Guardian: Is Mexico really the second-deadliest country in the world?

READ: It’s A Matter Of Life Or Death For This 59-Year-Old Immigrant Told To Leave U.S.

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Here's Why Mexico's President And Leonardo DiCaprio Have Joined Forces

Things That Matter

Here’s Why Mexico’s President And Leonardo DiCaprio Have Joined Forces

Mexico’s Gulf of California is home to one of the most endangered species of porpoise in the world: the vaquita.


Located in the western part of Mexico, just south of California, it is believed that as few as 30 of the mammals are still alive. Their numbers are so low that scientists believe the only way to save the endangered animal is by relocating those remaining in the wild to a sanctuary in San Felipe, Mexico, The Guardian reports.

To save the vaquita porpoise, the Mexican government and the U.S. Association of Zoos and Aquariums have started a $4 million campaign.


The money will go to securing the necessary technology to locate the rare porpoises remaining in the wild, as well as using trained dolphins to help in that process, and providing them with holding pens that will transport them to the sanctuary.

Scientists are unsure of how the porpoise will react to this process, as no one has managed to successfully capture a living vaquita.


They are so rare that footage of vaquitas is hard to find. This video was taken in 2015, which shows only the briefest glimpse of the animal in its natural habitat.

In an effort to bring awareness to the vaquita’s struggle, actor Leonardo DiCaprio tweeted the following:


The Oscar-winning actor is known for taking on environmental causes.

As the Huffington Post reported, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted support for DiCaprio’s message.


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Peña Nieto then went on a Twitter tear, providing information about Mexico’s efforts to save the vaquita.

@EPN / TWITTER

The vaquita has faced threats from numerous sources in the Gulf of California.


The Guardian reports that the vaquita are often caught in the nets of fishermen illegally hunting the totoaba, another endangered animal in the Gulf of California, whose bladder “commands a higher price than cocaine,” according to Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change’s Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho. The nets used, called gill nets, are the perfect size to capture the vaquita, and were banned from the Gulf of California until this past April.

Even with the ban, these aggressive, illegal fishing practices, have caused the porpoise’s numbers to drop by 90 percent over the last five years, The Huffington Post reports.


Even with their numbers reaching grim levels, activists are working hard to ensure the species will survive. As Rojas-Bracho told The Guardian, “we have to do our best or [the vaquita] will be lost to the planet forever.”

[H/T] The Guardian: Last-ditch attempt to save the endangered vaquita porpoise

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